In the Cause of Liberty: African Americans and the Civil War

Christy Coleman speaking at the Senior Center in Charlottesville.

On Thursday, April 4, 2013, Christy Coleman presented the fifth lecture in our six part Thursday series entitled The Civil War Through Different Lenses (2013).

It’s the spring of 1862 and over 100,000 Americans are already dead and the slaughter that is the Civil War is about to begin again. On January 1, 1863, and ignoring the advice of his advisers, President Lincoln issues the Emancipation Proclamation executive order. Listen as Ms. Coleman explains how this document took shape 150 years ago and why it’s still important today.

Christy Coleman was raised in Williamsburg Virginia. She received her bachelors and masters degrees from Hampton University. Ms. Coleman began her career as a living history interpreter at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation while still a college student. She rose through the ranks to become the director of African American Interpretations and Presentations. It was during this time that she and her team gained international acclaim for their bold and evocative programming. She has served as president and CEO of the nations largest African-American museum, The Charles H. Wright Museum of African-American History in Detroit. In 2008 she accepted the position of president and CEO of the The American Civil War Center at Historic Tredegar. She has lectured extensively and consulted with some of the county’s leading museums, written several articles for scholarly and public history publications as well as being an award winning screen writer for educational television. Her most recent work, Freedom Bound, won an Emmy in 2009 for outstanding educational programming.

The lecture series was organized by award-winning historian and Charlottesville-based author, lecturer, and cartographer Rick Britton in conjunction with the Senior Center in Charlottesville. During the Q&A portion of the program, Ms. Coleman explains the rational behind the Colonial Williamsburg Slave Auction that brought her national attention in 1994.

Click here listen all six parts of this series.